Climate Change Resilience of Ecosystem Services (CRES) Project Trains Students on Data, Statistical Tools and Analysis

Facilitator with the Student Participants after the Training Session.

The Climate Change Resilience of Ecosystem Services (CRES) Project with funding support by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark and administered by Danida Fellowship Centre is being implemented in three (3) districts (Kumbungu, Kasena/Nankana Municipal and Nandom) in northern Ghana.

The West African Centre for Water, Irrigation and Sustainable Agriculture of the University for Development Studies (WACWISA-UDS), jointly with research partners in Burkina Faso i.e. University of Norbert Zongo, Koudougou and University of Joeseph Ki-Zerbo, Ouagadougu and Aarhus University, Denmark as well as other five (5) private companies are implementing CRES. The project which is in its second year and will be implemented within five (5) years aims to establish diverse agricultural systems in Ghana and Burkina Faso by active integration of native multipurpose trees, to boost local gains and also to motivate tree planting, carbon sequestration of the planted trees will be certified for sale of socially responsible carbon credits.
One of the important planned outcomes which will be reflected in the outputs of the implementation is the training of twelve (12) PhD students and seventeen (17) master’s students in Ghana and Burkina Faso as well as the conduct of short courses aimed at boosting the knowledge of students and scientists.

In line with short courses on the project, a face-to-face training programme was therefore organized from 17th to 19th October, 2022 at WACWISA-UDS Nyankpala Campus, Ghana for Masters and PhD students in the area of data, statistics and statistical tools and analysis. This training was facilitated by Dr. Peter Borgen Sørensen, a Senior Scientist from the Institute of Ecoscience, Aarhus University, Denmark.

The Facilitator Observing Students undertaking Practical Hands-on Assignment

The training aimed to equip students with the needed skills in handling field and laboratory data that is necessary to contribute to quality research outputs of the CRES project. Also, this training is in line with the WACWISA-UDS strategy of expanding the frontiers of knowledge through the use of professional short courses for capacity building of students and industry practitioners in addressing skills gap in the West African sub-region.
The hands-on training focused on areas such as introduction to applied statistic methods in general linear models, the structure of R, Regression, Linear models in R, the R-commander and coefficient tables for two categorical variables.

According to some participants:

“The training on R was a square peg in a square hole. The course content was great, the facilitator had a mastery of the course and software and the course will greatly improve my research, especially on data analysis and understanding of the statistical component of my research. I wished we had more learning and engagement time with the facilitator ……. Ms. Chantal Tiku”.

“The training was interactive, interesting and more especially as the resource person was accessible for support. Students were given maximum support with relatively available internet during the training, downloading of the R software was made possible. The success I find in the training is that, I was able to practice the use of the R software during the training ….. Ms. Buabeng Phoebe Ancilla”.

Across Section of the Students Undertaking Practical Exercises during the Training